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J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 5;116(2):363-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.12.002. Epub 2007 Dec 8.

Astragalus Membranaceus prevents airway hyperreactivity in mice related to Th2 response inhibition.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Medical School of Zhejiang University, 88# Jiefang Road, Hangzhou 310009, China.



Asthma is recognized as a common pulmonary disease throughout the world. To date, there has been a growing interest in herbal products in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is considered to be effective to treat asthma. A Chinese herb Astragalus Membranaceus (AM) was found useful in treating allergic diseases. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this herbal injection could suppress allergic-induced AHR and mucus hypersecretion in allergic mice.


A mouse model of chronic asthma was used to investigate AM injection on the airway lesions in compared with glucocorticoids. The study was conducted on mice sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin and the whole body plethsmography was performed to assess AHR. The bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), histopathology were examined.


We found 28-day AM administration significantly decreased inflammatory infiltration and mucus secretion in the lung tissues of allergic mice. 28-day AM administration enhanced Ova-induced decreased IFN-gamma, and the Ova-induced elevations of IL-5 and IL-13 in BALF were prevented by 28-day injection. We also showed 28-day AM injection markedly suppressed increased AHR in allergic mice.


Our results indicate Astragalus Membranaceus has a potential role in treating allergic asthma.

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